August 18, 2023
By Mike Fletcher

Are you tired of creating event survey questions that don’t provide enough insights into how your attendees, sponsors and speakers feel about your events?

Surveys are an essential tool in your event planning toolkit, but asking the right questions can make all the difference. The questions you ask, when you ask them, and how you analyse the responses can make or break your event’s success.

Read on to discover the key event survey questions you should ask before, during, and after your event to create engaging event experiences that keep attendees, sponsors and speakers coming back for more.

What are the different types of event survey questions?

Event survey questions asked before your event determine why people have registered, along with any accessibility needs, dietary requirements or other vital information on how attendees would like to interact with your content.

Getting feedback during your event provides real-time data that shows how attendees engage with your content, where sponsors are getting the most value, and whether or not to release specific sessions on demand.

Post-event survey questions give you valuable feedback that you can use to plan future content and inform sponsors and stakeholders about the success of the event.

Depending on how much detail you require or how responsive your attendees have been in the past to giving feedback, you can present your event survey questions in several ways.

Multiple Choice

Giving multiple-choice answer options will reduce the amount of time it takes to fill out an event survey. Ask your attendees to rate specific aspects of your event and give them options ranging from ‘Excellent’ to ‘Good’, ‘Average’ and ‘Poor’.


Ask open-ended questions for more detailed answers. Questions such as, ‘How can we make this event better?’ or ‘What topics would you like us to cover next time?’ will provide a wealth of ideas.

Two Choice Answers

Asking ‘Yes/No’ questions or providing statements and asking your attendees if they consider them to be ‘True or False’ will give you both basic sentiment and allow you to assess key objectives. Consider questions such as, ‘Did you leave with a greater understanding of the topic than when you arrived? Yes/No’ or ‘I had a successful show and will rebook for next year True/False’.

Post-event survey questions to ask attendees

Asking post-event survey questions shows you care about your attendees’ event experience and value their opinions. It also shows that you’re prepared to take all feedback (good and bad) on board to provide a better experience for future events.

Consider asking the following questions post-event.

1. How satisfied were you with the event?

It’s important to understand your attendees’ overall impression of your event. To get a complete picture, ask attendees to rate elements like the date, venue, catering and speakers.

Ask follow-up questions to gauge satisfaction levels around registration, queuing on arrival, using the event app, networking opportunities and other experience elements.

2. What did you like most about the event?

Encourage positive feedback by asking for it directly. Keep this question open-ended, allowing attendees to reflect on what they enjoyed.

3. What, if anything, did you dislike about the event?

Post-event surveys are great for identifying complaints or pain points. Don’t be afraid to ask this as an open-ended question. It will encourage constructive and detailed feedback you can then act upon.

4. How likely are you to recommend this event to a colleague or friend?

Encourage word-of-mouth advocacy and referrals by asking, ‘On a scale of one to 10, how likely are you to recommend this event to a colleague or friend?’

5. How likely are you to attend this event again?

It’s easier to persuade existing attendees to return than to convince someone who has never been. Get a better idea of how many people will return next year and what you need to do to sway those not intending to return by asking, ‘On a scale of one to 10, how likely are you to attend this event again?’

6. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about your experience at our event?

Include this open-ended question to serve as a catch-all for any additional feedback at the end of your survey.

Pre-event survey questions to ask registrants

As people register for your event, use pre-event survey questions to inform your marketing, develop your content plan and improve accessibility.

Consider asking the following questions pre-event.

7. How did you hear about this event?

Evaluate your marketing efforts by asking where registrants first heard about your event. Provide a multiple choice of your marketing channels to learn which are working best and which aren’t having the impact you need.

8. Why are you attending this event?

This open-ended question will allow you to tweak formats, add last-minute content and assess those speakers attendees are looking forward to hearing from the most.

If, for example, a majority say they’re attending for the networking, consider making more sessions available on-demand and expanding those opportunities to meet and talk to one another.

9. Have you attended this event before?

Keep track of your repeat attendees so that you can reward their loyalty, understand the value of attending your event, and assess when you need to attract more first-time attendees.

10. Which speaker are you most looking forward to hearing from?

Gauge the pre-event popularity of your speakers so that you know which sessions may prove popular enough for a larger room or to be streamed live, plus which may need more marketing and promotion.

11. Do you require wheelchair access, a sign language interpreter, an audio loop or facilities for a service animal?

By asking more detailed accessibility questions at registration and following up with anyone who has requested certain requirements, you’ll create a positive first impression of your event and give yourself more planning time to incorporate requests. 

12. Which social media channels are you most active on?

Discover those social media channels that would provide the most engagement and reach during your event. Which channels should you monitor for attendee feedback and user-generated content that you may then wish to share?

Event survey questions for sponsors

Sponsor feedback is vital for assessing your event's value and potential for further monetisation. Use it to renegotiate future sponsorship packages, attract new partners and plan sponsor involvement.

13. Did the event meet your expectations?

This ‘Yes / No’ question should include a ‘please explain the reasons for your answer’ prompt.

Use the insights provided to follow up with individual sponsors. If they’ve reported an exceptional experience, ask for a testimonial and don’t wait too long before you sign them up again. Similarly, if they’ve had issues or challenges during your event, act quickly to make amends and plan improvements.

14. How relevant was the audience for your business objectives?

If sponsors report that the audience was a great fit for their sales and marketing goals or brand visibility, use the information to attract similar sponsors to your event. If the audience isn’t relevant, you may need to adjust who you’re targeting to sponsor certain aspects of your event.

15. What was the ROI of sponsoring this event?

Again, you can use this feedback to demonstrate to future partners that your sponsorship opportunities are a great investment. Make sure you give sponsors plenty of data to help them evaluate ROI and work with them to assess where added value could be gained.

16. Would you be interested in sponsoring this event again next year?

This ‘Yes/No’ question should spark your sales team into life. All ‘Yes’ responses will need updated sponsorship proposals, follow-up meetings and contract negotiations. The ‘No’ responses will require follow-up to determine why and whether or not the decision can be reversed.

17. Were there any issues during the event that impacted your sponsorship experience?

Give sponsors the opportunity to provide any additional feedback or report grievances or concerns that you or your sales team can then address head-on.

18. What were your overall thoughts on the event?

This open-ended question shows sponsors and partners that you value their feedback on all aspects of the event (not just their sponsored elements). It will help you to develop a more collaborative relationship with sponsors, which may lead to other opportunities.

Event survey questions for speakers

Asking speakers for feedback will allow you to assess any issues, which may have led to low-ranking scores from attendees. Event survey questions can also help you to improve speaker management for future activities.

19. How would you rate our communication and supply of information pre-event?

By asking speakers to rank how you helped them to prepare for your event, you can identify strengths and weaknesses in your speaker management. Make sure you follow up on any low-ranking scores to gain critical insight into how to improve the speaker experience for next time.

20. How would you rate the venue and presentation equipment?

Speakers are best placed to provide objective feedback on venue elements such as acoustics, seating layouts and AV facilities. Modify this question for virtual and hybrid events. For example, ‘How would you rate working with our production team and virtual platform?’.

21. Could we have done better to promote your session or improve your speaking experience?

Asking this open-ended question will provide insights into how the sessions were promoted and let your speakers know that you're committed to improving.

22. Would you be interested in speaking at future events?

Asking this Yes/No question will allow you to build up a library of available speakers for future events.

Getting feedback during your event

View and understand real-time feedback during your event by asking attendees to rate speakers and review content after each session. Consider asking the following:

23. ‘Did you leave this session with a greater understanding of the topic? Yes/No.’

24. ‘How would you rate this speaker (Excellent, Good, Average, Poor)?

25. ‘On a scale of one to 10, how likely are you to recommend this session to a friend or colleague?’

Repeat the same set of questions for any number of your speakers and sessions so that you can compare and aggregate the ratings in real-time.

Remember, only send session-specific surveys to those attendees who were scanned entering the room or who logged on virtually. Use your mobile event app to send notification reminders to rate both the speaker and the content before your attendees move on to their next session.

Best practices to get attendees to engage with your event survey

When creating event survey questions, keep these top tips in mind:

  • Keep surveys short: Your attendees’ time at your event is precious so only ask those survey questions during your event that are vital to your understanding of their experience. You can ask for more information before and after your event but remain mindful of how much time it takes to complete a survey.
  • Use simple language: Avoid using jargon or complex wording that may confuse your respondents.
  • Incentivise for a more significant response: Enter respondents into a prize draw or gamify survey engagement by setting up a leaderboard via your event app and awarding points for interacting with different elements of your event, including surveys.
  • All feedback is positive (even when it’s negative): Every attendee, speaker, sponsor or staff may have valuable feedback that could improve the way you deliver your events next time. Don’t take negative comments to heart. Ask yourself what you can do to improve.
  • People love sharing their opinions: If you don’t ask for feedback, people will likely share their opinions on social media channels instead. Inviting people to share their opinions in a private survey format will make them feel valued and less likely to air any grievances in public.
  • Be timely in gathering feedback: Send out post-event surveys as soon after your event as possible so that the experience is still fresh in your attendees’ minds.

Do more with your event survey data

Event survey questions are vital for measuring event success, gathering reliable feedback, and identifying areas of improvement. 

Use a mix of our suggested open-ended and close-ended questions depending on what insights you’re looking to attract. 

Close-ended event survey questions are simpler to assess and evaluate since they contain a predefined set of options. But open-ended questions help elicit more thorough responses that will provide more detailed insight. 

Creating the best event experiences requires asking the right questions to the right people at the right time, supported by the best survey technology. To empower your collection of smart, timely feedback data, check out our event survey software.

Mike Fletcher

Mike Fletcher

Mike has been writing about the meetings and events industry for almost 20 years as a former editor at Haymarket Media Group, and then as a freelance writer and editor. He currently runs his own content agency, Slippy Media, catering for a wide-range of client requirements, including social strategy, long-form, event photography, event videography, reports, blogs and ghost-written material.

Subscribe to our newsletter